Check-in with adorable Manix to see how he's doing and remind him he's FRIEND STRONG FAMILY FOREVER! Review his story. Send your "BOOSTER SHOT OF PEER SUPPORT" to this now 5th Grader by October 16th, 2021 through our virtual portal or to:
BE A FRIEND PROJECT
P.O. BOX 30
BEACON, NY 12508
Please note this is a new address for the 2021-2020 Season!
WE DELIVERED 472 LETTERS of peer support to Manix on 4/15/20!
"I am so grateful.
Thank you so much for making a terrible situation much, much better."
~ Manix's mom
MANIX'S 2020 SURPRISE DELIVERY VIDEO:
Our favorite lines...
Little Sister: "Manix, you have fans; you never told me!"
Manix: "I didn't know!!"
Little Sister: "Everybody loves you, Manix!"
That sums up our mission - thank you!!
"The surprise went so well! Manix was blown away ... I wanted to cry happy tears when we first started the video!"
Manix's drive for letters of support fell smack in the middle of school buildings closing due to the coronavirus, and educators and students scrambling to transition to distance learning and being quarantined in our homes. DESPITE, our amazing Ambassadors sent 472 letters AND for the first time, many assigned "videos of support" through Google Classroom to be included in Manix's surprise video!
"We told the kids we wanted to show them an awesome video and when you started describing him, he was SO shocked!" Manix's mom told us. His mom and dad gathered up the kids in the living room and turned on this video:
SOME OF MANIX'S 472 FRIEND MAIL LETTERS - AND WRITERS:
WOW!! RACER COREY LAJOIE SENT MANIX HIS SUPPORT:
💕NASCAR may be shut down, but its heart speeds on thanks to well-known racer Corey LaJoie who drives the No. 32 Ford Mustang. WOW!!! Corey took a "BRAKE FOR KINDNESS" to send this AWESOME OFFICIAL SHIRT AND HAT to our 3rd Grade bullying survivor in California! Our friends atUnify Against Bullying in MA know "Manix" likes "anything that goes fast" and connected with Corey Lajoie Racing in NC to send his support along with their own shirt and letters of support. Heck, we're thrilled to be on the same envelope with all these empathy warriors, from NC to MA to NY to CA, we are FRIEND STRONG for kindness across the nation!! ❤️💪💪🏁
~ MANIX'S STORY ~
Original 2020 Post
THIS YOUTUBE INTRODUCTION OF MANIX is a good choice for young students!
~ By On-Air Teen Super Ambassador, Brielle Withers:
After relentless bullying that convinced him he would never be understood,
9-year-old boy attempted to end his pain on the school playground.
Manix's mom describes her son as "unique, passionate, eccentric and totally the kindest ever." He adores his brothers and sisters and is helpful. Manix is VERY SOCIAL, yet when he tries to connect to other kids, he's not great at reading their emotions due to a processing disorder. He follows the beat to his own drum which has led to misunderstandings and a lack of tolerance in peers who find entertainment in bullying him.
NO ONE DESERVES TO BE BULLIED, EVER!
Starting in 2nd Grade in northern California, older kids have hit Manix and tried to force him to fight others. He is called "mayonnaise" and "ugly"and foul names we won't repeat here.
His family moved across town in July 2019 and Manix entered 3rd Grade as the NEW KID IN SCHOOL. On the 2nd day, Manix got off the bus with a bloody nose from being hit. His mom can count "on two hands" how many times he got off the bus "okay" this year.
For a while, Manix fought back. In one instance, his mom says, "The kid was trying to bully him for a present he had for me... Manix fought back and the boy choked him out and held him down. The school informed me Manix was not to blame."
Shortly after, in a terrifying cry for help, Manix was found at recess having tied one end of a jumprope around his neck. He was trying to swing the other end around a tree branch, wanting to put an end to the hurt. Manix later explained that he felt "misunderstood" and that made him feel hopeless and so sad.
Intense therapy began but bullying continued. Manix was suspended for a week after having a meltdown in class. How much can a 9-year-old take?
In December, Manix was kicked off the bus along with his bully because he raised his hands in self-defense, so his parents made a rule "no hands on anyone... walk away and do not engage."
In his interview with ABC KCKR News, Manix says, "I learned if you hit back, two wrongs don't make a right."
The same bus driver who kicked both Manix and his bully off the bus weeks back, allowed bullying to happen again a few weeks later. Manix chose not to fight back. The incident was captured by another student on her cell phone and quickly went viral after it was posted.
Manix's mom, Samantha, had alerted the school countless times to bullying but until this video, she never had physical proof that her son was being victimized and it was not just a fight between kids. Faced with the video evidence, the school is finally investigating this incident. Meanwhile, Manix's parents pulled him from the school for the remainder of the year.
Manix's parents are looking for a new school placement for their son with zero tolerance for bullying. His mom told a news reporter, "I would like to build a relationship with a school that is willing to put responsibility where responsibility is supposed to be put."
The 3rd Grader's first days at home were happy ones; he was "on a pink cloud" being out of reach of the bullies, but he still has breakdowns from the trauma he's experienced for so long.
Ambassadors, here's where YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Tell Manix that you are...
PROUD OF HIM FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING
and for HAVING THE STRENGTH NOT TO FIGHT BACK,
for his INDIVIDUALITY and tell him, BE YOURSELF!
This 9-year-old loves anything adventurous, especially things where he can go fast like scooters, bikes and video games. He has started JIU JITSO classes. Manix aspires to be a singer, and looks up to his dad who is a musician. Manix loves to compose Heavy Metal songs to sing around the house!! When needing to chill-out, Manix's go-to is reading a book. What an awesome kid!!